What are Desktop Environments ?

Chandra Kiran | Mar 29, 2021 min read

What are Desktop Environments

Desktop environment or DE in a nut shell is a GUI for your distro, it also provides functions to control the system and more. Unlike Windows or macOS, Linux aswell as BSD have many DEs available.

Here are the major ones :

KDE Plasma

Arguably the most customizable and functional DE available. Plasma can be tweaked to your hearts content and has a very familiar look to Windows. Its has tons of customizations for power users and ricers alike.



A relatively heavy yet minimal DE for minimalists and certainly a eyecandy. GNOME is also customisable with various extensions to choose from and also the UI is very touch friendly if thats what you are looking for.



A fork of GNOME 2 to provide a fast and lightweight experience. Very good customization support.



A minimalist DE with a lot of polish and believes in good out of the box experience. Its relatively new and has some hiccups here and there.



Mate strives to provide a good user experience coupled with the legacy of GNOME 2.


LXQt (Previously LXDE)

A very lightweight DE primarily for entry level or older computers.


All of the DEs have their pros and cons and I suggest you to choose yourself rather than on asking someone as every user’s needs are different.